‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
Scouting Report: FaZe
Best maps: Mirage, Inferno, Overpass
Good maps: Cache
???: Train, Cobble, Nuke
I have seen this team at 4 events and I do not know what their average performance is. At DH Malmo they had days to get everything together, so for obvious reasons you can point to that one and say that won’t tell you anything. At ELeague and ESL NY, they dominated everyone with every player going off. In particular, Rain had gained another level compared to what he was the rest of the year. At EPICENTER, Rain and olofmeister had bad performances. For me, Rain has very high highs and moderate lows, depending on map. So while it isn’t out of expectation for Rain to drop off at EPICENTER, I don’t think it should have been this bad, same thing for olofmeister. This gets even more complicated if the team decides to work on more maps where I think they should be good like Nuke and Train.
So having said all of that, I can’t give you an expectation of what to expect. What I can do is tell you how I think the Ct and T-sides work for the team.
The Ct-side is essentially a Hydra. You can kill one head, but another head will make a play across the map. The three primary initiators depends on the map. GuardiaN with an AWP always gets priority, but beyond that Rain, olofmeister and NiKo are free to make plays depending on their read and feel of the game. Everyone, including Karrigan is allowed to make counter-plays. This is what happens when someone on the other side of the map loses a duel or encounter. At that moment, someone on FaZe will use that information and use that to create a play to swing the favor back to their side. This is why the Ct-side of FaZe can be so overwhelming as every T-side is playing double or triple jeopardy where every FaZe player has the chance to steal the round in 4v5 or 3v5 situations.
Conversely, this is a weakness. The same mentality that makes them do these plays is also what makes them push in 5v3 situations and then run into a crosshair of the enemy. It’s a double edged sword, but given the percentages we’ve run, FaZe have won two titles and only lost at EPICENTER to the two eventual finalists. Those are good fucking odds.
The T-side has three aspects. The first is similar to their CT-side. Spread out, take map control and then have their primary stars make plays. This creates a domino effect where each duel, gives FaZe more map control, which in turn leads to another player, which in turn leads to more map control, which in turn leads to another play, till they’ve won the round.
The second aspect is a Karrigan specialty. He changes where the hit is going if his player on the other side of the map tells him it’s clear, thus it makes it hard to know where FaZe will go even if you have the information.
The third aspect is their tactics. If their first round of defaults and playmaking doesn’t work, they shift into tactical rounds, executes, shifts of pace. I think a good example of this is FaZe vs SK g3 where after using slow defaults, Karrigan had the team switch to a faster pace and use executes to take the rest of the half.
There is one last thing to note about this team. That is that I think they are simultaneously the best force-team in the world and susceptible to losing to force-buys themselves. I can’t explain the latter, but the former makes sense. On a theoretical level there are two ways to win a force-buy with pistols round. You can set up a strong execute that destroys a site or you can have a guy get multiple headshots with a deagle. FaZe has both.
Moving forward, FaZe has shown weakness to the SK line-up so among all of the potential line-ups, this may become the most important moving forward.